Earn a Certificate in Bookkeeping and gain the skills needed to manage and measure a business's financial health. This program focuses on cash basis accounting, and the content taught is designed for small businesses. Use bookkeeping expertise to provide invaluable support to business owners or be able to knowledgeably outsource business finances to bookkeeping professionals.
Program Scope and Sequence
This program is delivered online and consists of three courses that each run for sixteen hours over four weeks, for a total of forty-eight hours of instruction. Upon completion, students will earn a Penn State Certificate in Bookkeeping.
Who Should Attend
This program is appropriate for anyone who wants to get into the in-demand field of bookkeeping:
- People looking for a job change or promotion in the business field
- Business owners who want to hire and manage a bookkeeper
- Entrepreneurs who need to understand basic business accounting
- Gain an understanding of the accounting equation and each of the five categories involved in every business.
- Learn the difference between cash basis accounting and accrual basis accounting.
- Learn how to complete each phase of the accounting cycle, from analyzing a financial transaction to preparing financial statements and closing the books.
Bookkeeping Course Descriptions
Understanding Debits and Credits
Course One in the certificate program
Learn how to properly analyze and record the financial transactions of a business. Acquire a solid understanding of the accounting equation and how to balance it.
Dates: Mondays, September 14–October 9
- Gain an understanding of the accounting equation and the five accounting categories: Assets, Liabilities, Owner’s Equity, Revenue, and Expenses.
- Learn how to create a chart of accounts.
- Learn how to use the double entry bookkeeping system with a strong understanding of how debits and credits work.
- Learn the difference between cash basis accounting and accrual accounting.
- Learn the importance of recording financial activity in a timely manner.
General Ledger and Month-End Procedures
Course Two in the certificate program
Learn how to post journal entries to the correct general ledger accounts impacted by each transaction. Ensure that your general ledger balances at the end of each month, by preparing an unadjusted trial balance. Learn how to look for errors when the figures don’t balance, and how to determine correcting entries. After posting correcting entries and/or adjusting entries, verify debits and credits equal with an adjusted trial balance. This course also teaches the steps of performing monthly bank reconciliations.
Dates: Mondays, October 12–November 6
- Understand the purpose of the general ledger and how to verify its accuracy.
- Learn how to find errors and determine the correcting entries.
- Understand each step necessary to the month-end procedures.
- Be able to perform monthly bank reconciliations.
Closing Procedures and Financial Statements
Course Three in the certificate program
This course shows you how to use a worksheet to prepare the financial statements after the final month end of the year. The final step covered in this course is closing your books and preparing them for the next accounting period; this is done by journalizing and posting closing entries.
Dates: Mondays, November 9–December 4
- Understand and be able to complete each step in the accounting cycle.
- Be able to complete the Five-Column Worksheet.
- Learn how to use the worksheet to prepare the Income Statement and the Balance Sheet.
- Be able to prepare and post closing entries so that the books are ready for the next accounting cycle.
- Be able to prepare a post-closing trial balance.